Bad All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day acts

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - Patrick Enad y Ca­ballero, San Car­los Sem­i­nary Col­lege, Arch­dio­cese of Cebu

Un­healthy acts re­lated to the cel­e­bra­tion of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are be­ing prac­ticed nowa­days. And it is alarm­ing. I no­ticed, at least in the ceme­tery where my rel­a­tives are buried, that some fam­i­lies stay in the mau­soleums all day (some would even spend a night or two there). That is not a prob­lem. The prob­lem is when dur­ing that time the ceme­tery is used for so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, or when mau­soleums be­come venues for pic­nics, idle talk and gos­sip, bois­ter­ous laugh­ter and even for drunk­en­ness (“tagay”).

On this, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber two phrases: sa­cred time and sa­cred place.

Sa­cred time. All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (or the Solem­nity of All Saints and the Com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Faith­ful De­parted) are times for prayer and to of­fer suf­frages for the souls in pur­ga­tory.

So­cial gath­er­ings, pic­nics, bois­ter­ous laugh­ter and drunk­en­ness do not cre­ate an at­mos­phere of prayer. Rather, saints who want us to join them and the souls in pur­ga­tory who want us to pray for them would pre­fer si­lence, fast­ing and tem­per­ance. I’m sure they would be dis­ap­pointed to find us wal­low­ing in vice and things that do not con­trib­ute to a spir­i­tual life.

Th­ese are also times to sober up, med­i­tate on death and realign our lives to the path of sal­va­tion if we are al­ready in the path of perdi­tion.

Sa­cred Place. In the rites of the Church, there is a dis­tinc­tion be­tween mere bless­ing and con­se­cra­tion. Houses are blessed, churches are con­se­crated. Rosaries are blessed, chal­ices are con­se­crated. One of the places that is so im­por­tant it de­serves con­se­cra­tion is a ceme­tery.

Ceme­ter­ies are not sanc­ti­fied by just any priest but by a bishop or his del­e­gate. The Church has high re­gard for places where the bod­ies of the faith­ful de­parted rest as they await res­ur­rec­tion on the last day.

Know­ing this should bring to mind the sa­cred­ness of ceme­ter­ies. Th­ese places are not yards where we can have bar­be­cue or set up an in­flat­able pool, or where we can gos­sip and talk idly, or where we can have a drink­ing ses­sion. We do not do pro­fane things in holy grounds. We do not do pic­nics in holy grounds. We do not hold so­cial gath­er­ings or par­ties on holy grounds. We keep sa­cred places holy.

True enough, meet­ing rel­a­tives who are far from each other for the rest of the year is im­por­tant. Drink­ing, too, plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in our cul­ture as much as pic­nics and fam­ily re­unions do. This, how­ever, is a mat­ter of order­ing our val­ues.

Do we con­sider pic­nics, ex­cur­sions and re­unions more im­por­tant than pay­ing homage to God? Do we con­sider th­ese more im­por­tant than the rea­son we ven­er­ate saints and re­mem­ber the dead?

As far as I am con­cerned God and the sa­cred­ness of times and places are of greater value, are of greater im­por­tance than pic­nics, etc. Th­ese are no doubt im­por­tant for us Filipinos but th­ese should not be more im­por­tant than the ob­ser­vance of sa­cred times and places.

Our time for bond­ing and so­cial­iz­ing should not dim the pri­macy and cen­tral­ity of God.--Lance

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.